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How Much is Enough? Underinsurance Questions Raised Following Massive Wildfires

SEATTLE, Wash. – A recent article published in the Insurance Business Editor raised some very interesting questions for both insurance agents and clients following the deadly wildfires in California.

As of Sunday, news outlets reported the Camp Fire destroyed more than 12,000 structures in Northern California, and that number will likely continue to grow. As the community slowly shifts focus from the devastation and destruction of the fire to what is needed to rebuild – the focus also shifts to what it will take to make that happen for the thousands of displaced families.

This is where the discussion of insurance begins. How much insurance is enough insurance with regards to this kind of catastrophic event?  

At Insurance Services Group, our team asks this kind of question a lot with the understanding that what your home costs today won’t be rebuilt for close to what it would take following a massive earthquake, wildfire, or landslide.

Underinsurance is not a new issue, and as the story highlights, Californians are not alone in grappling with this issue.

Industry experts say a number of factors are to blame – and it starts with the need for a real and accurate exchange of information between clients and agents. It also involves a good grasp and understanding for the local construction market and cost of materials where you live.

Not all insurance carriers evaluate the cost to rebuild/replace a home the same way. We work with our carrier partners to review replacement costs, we utilize replacement cost calculators, and we talk with construction experts to help assess actual values necessary to insure properly. But accuracy also depends on homeowners understanding the market, sharing information with their agent, and working together.

Too often, in today’s insurance market – price drives this discussion. At Insurance Services Group we strive to find the very best value – without sacrificing coverage. If this story has you questioning what your insurance limits are on your home or property and what that number is based on - we encourage you to reach out to our team and ask. We are here to help guide and advise this kind of discussion. The hope is you won’t have to use your insurance but things happen and when they do you want to have the right things in place to take care of you and your family.